Guilty on all Charges: Alex Murdaugh Murdered His Wife and Son, Jury Decides in Just Three Hours
After six weeks of testimony, the jury found the South Carolina attorney guilty of murdering his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul
After weeks of testimony, the verdict is in: Alex Murdaugh has been found guilty of murdering his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul, on June 7, 2021. After closing arguments on March 2, jurors only need a few hours to find the former South Carolina guilty on all charges. Here is everything you need to know about the shocking verdict in the trial that has gripped the nation for the past six weeks – including all the charges he was convicted of, his reaction to the verdict, who was in the courtroom when the verdict was read, when he will be sentenced, and the judge's reaction to the verdict.
After Just Three Hours the Jury Came to a Verdict
After deliberating for just three hours, the guilty verdict was read. They found him guilty of two counts of murder and two weapons charges relating to the June 7 murder of his family at Moselle, the family's multi-million dollar hunting ranch.
Alex Looked Emotionless While Buster Cried
The convicted murderer stood stoically in the courtroom as the jury of his peers each confirmed that they believed he had committed the heinous crime. His son, Buster, was sitting in the courtroom and started crying after hearing that his father had been found guilty of murdering his mother and younger brother. As did Buster's girlfriend, who was sitting in the courtroom next to him.
Murdaugh's Lawyer Attempted to Call for a Mistrial
While Murdaugh's lawyer attempted to call for a mistrial, Judge Clifton Newman denied the motion, confirming that the evidence against Murdaugh was overwhelming. "You all responded and gave due consideration to the evidence. I will make no comment now as to the extent of the overwhelming nature of the evidence, but certainly, the verdict that you have reached is supported."
Judge Newman Made It Clear He Agreed with the Verdict
"The circumstantial evidence, direct evidence, all of the evidence pointed to one conclusion, and that's the conclusion that you all reached," he continued. "I applaud you all as a group, and as a unit and individually in evaluating the evidence and coming to a proper conclusion as you saw the law and saw the facts."
His Sentencing Will Be Friday Morning
The prosecution has revealed they will seek life in prison without parole, not the death penalty. Murdaugh will be sentenced when the court convenes on March 3. Murdaugh turned his back toward the judge, mouthed "I love you" to Buster, and then was handcuffed and taken out of the courtroom.
One State Attorney Found the Verdict "Surprising"
Dave Aronberg, State Attorney, Palm Beach County told CNN Outfront Erin Burnett that he was surprised about one thing in particular. "I was surprised it was that quick," he said about the verdict. "But you know, the evidence was in my mind, overwhelming as the judge said twice.
The Video Was the Smoking Gun, He Says
He also said that the video with Alex's voice is the only thing he "never accounted for." He "used two separate guns. He changed his clothes, he had everything thought out. He had the fake alibi," and even used two separate guns "designed to make it look like two shooters."
He Thought It Would Be a Hung Jury
Aronberg confessed he "still thought it would likely be a hung jury," adding that he "didn't think he would be acquitted because two jurors reportedly last Thursday were crying with Alex on the stand. But that was Thursday. Yeah. It was a different Alex on the stand Friday. A more combative one, more defensive one. And the prosecutors I think were more prepared to go after him on Friday than they were Thursday," he said.
Alex Had Been Stealing for Years, Prosecutor Claims
Waters maintains that Alex got in over his head with his stealing. According to the prosecutor, while it all began with Murdaugh stealing from his personal injury clients, things got worse when he stole from the family of his housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, who died after falling in his home. After Paul's boat crash and civil cases began piling up, and his partners started getting wind of what was happening, the prosecutor claims the pressure started mounting.
It Escalated Into a Ponzi Scheme-Like Situation, Prosecutor Claims
Waters likens the situation to a Ponzi scheme, saying he was on a "constant hamster wheel" of debt and theft for over a decade. "The stress and the pressure of that would have been extreme because it has been going on so long, always staying one step ahead." If you stop stealing, it "crashes and burns."
The CFO Claims She Confronted Him Hours Before the Murders
The lead prosecutor points out that the same day Paul and Maggie were murdered, Alex was confronted by Jeanne Seckinger, CFO of The Parker Law Group. Seckinger testified earlier that Alex "stole" hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees from the law firm and millions by depositing settlement checks into an account he controlled. The firm is currently paying the money back to clients, "Because Alex Murdaugh stole it," Seckinger said in her testimony.
Paul and Maggie's Murders Took the Heat Off Alex, According to Prosecutor
Also, according to Waters, Alex's father's health was ailing, so he couldn't rely on him to bail him out as he had in the past. "On June 7, when all those pressures were mounting, the defendant killed Maggie and Paul," says Waters.
"The timeline puts him there. The forensic timeline puts him there." He points out the plan was working just how Alex probably hoped. After the murders, "It's a different world," the prosecutor says, as Murdaugh's investigations are put on hold and the boat crash hearing canceled. "Everyone immediately rallies around Alex Murdaugh."
When the Heat Was Back On, He Staged Another Crime, Prosecutor Claims
Months after Maggie and Paul were murdered, and the heat began to return (Alex is fired and confronted by Chris Wilson, his friend, who accused him of stealing from clients), he staged the side-of-the-road shooting, the prosecutor claims. "When accountability was at his door, Alex was a victim again," Waters says. However, this time his story started falling apart quickly, which is when he went to rehab and confessed he made everything up.
Alex Was Addicted to Drugs – and His Family Was On His Case, According to Prosecutor
Waters brings up Alex's opiate addiction and says that Maggie and Paul were putting pressure on him. Even "little detective" Paul was "watching him like a hawk." He also notes that Alex testified he would do "almost anything" to stop withdrawal symptoms.
Alex Had Access to the Guns, Prosecutor Claims
Waters points out that Alex Murdaugh had access to family weapons, specifically the exact .300 Blackout model, which the defendant "couldn't account for," that killed Maggie. "A family Blackout killed Maggie. It was present just a couple of months prior to the murders, and it's gone now. A family weapon the defendant cannot account for killed Maggie," Waters says.
He adds that Paul was killed by a shotgun, pointing out that Alex's favorite shotgun, a Benelli Super Black Eagle 12-gauge shotgun, also went missing. "Family weapons killed these victims," he says. "The defendant had the means to commit these crimes."
GPS, Cellphone Data, and Even a Video Put Him at the Scene of the Crime, Prosecutor Claims
Waters also brings up the cold, hard cellphone data and GPS data that establish the victims' time of death and puts Alex at the crime scene during the window in which Paul and Maggie were killed. He also brings up the kennel video in which Alex's voice is heard.
Alex Lied About Being at the Kennels, Prosecutor Claims
Before Alex knew about the kennel video, he lied about being there. "Why in the world would a reasonable innocent father and husband lie about that and lie about it so early?" Waters asks. "Why would he lie about that, ladies and gentlemen? Why would he even think to lie about that if he was an innocent man?"
Neither Victim Had Defensive Wound, Prosecutor Points Out
Neither Paul nor Maggie had any defensive wounds, Waters points out. He says that neither Paul nor Maggie has defensive wounds, as there was no indication of a threat. "Why? Because it's him," he says. Waters says that Maggie is "running to her baby" when Alex shoots her.
Prosecutor Asks, Why is Alex suddenly in Hurry?
Waters maintains that the murders happened between 8:49 pm and 8:53 pm and that after, Alex took all his clothes off, washed himself off with a hose, and took the golf cart back to his home. According to the prosecutor, after not moving his phone for an hour, at 9:02 pm there is movement, and until 9:06 pm is "as busy as he's ever been" and moves 250 steps while making calls to Maggie. He says this was all part of him manufacturing an alibi. "What's he in a hurry about?" Waters asks. "Why's he in a hurry? Because he knows he has to compress that timeline."
Alex Throws Maggie's Phone Out the Window, Prosecutor Claims
Waters also points out that right after Alex leaves the house, there is an orientation change on Maggie's phone – exactly when he is driving 42 miles an hour passing the spot where her phone was found.
He Manufactured an Alibi, Prosecutor Claims
From driving to see his parents to calling Paul and Maggie's phones, everything Alex did was calculated, Waters says. "He's manufacturing an alibi. He's smart. He's a good lawyer. His family has a history of prosecution. He understands these issues," he says. "He knows what to do to try to prevent evidence from being gathered."
Murdaugh Has a Serious History of Lying, Prosecutor Claims
Waters shows the jury footage of Murdaugh's first interviews, showing how flawless and easily he lied. "Look how easily he did it," he says. He mentions that Murdaugh said he was distrustful and paranoid about SLED. "Is that an aggressive interview? Is that something that would make somebody paranoid?" he says.
The Defense's Theories Aren't Plausible, Waters Says
Waters reiterates that the defense's alternative explanation – two 5'2" random vigilantes retaliating against the family for the boat crash – is preposterous. "We couldn't bring you any eyewitnesses because they were murdered," he adds. "But common sense and human nature can speak on behalf of Maggie and Paul. When you look at this and its totality – common sense and human nature can speak for them and they deserve a voice."
Alex Told Police There Were No Threats to Buster
Waters also brings up the fact that during a police interview, Alex was asked if there were any threats to Buster, and he replied "no" to them. "Why is there no threat to Buster? Because he was a threat to Maggie and Paul. He knows there is no vigilante out there, that's why he was never concerned about it," Waters says